Edgar Kaufman Jr. once described his family’s sanctuary in Sylvain Fayette County as “a great lamp in the woods that gives shape to the darkness.”
Of course, he was talking about Frank Lloyd Wright’s gravity-defying work, universally known, Fallingwater.
The description is apt as the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy prepares to revive its signature fundraiser, Fallingwater Soiree, after a two-year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Justin Gunther, WPC Vice President and Director of Fallingwater, said the event, scheduled for 6-9 p.m. August 13 at Mill Road’s iconic location, Mill Run, provides a rare opportunity to experience Fallingwater’s architecture and landscape at twilight. .
Attendees will be served signature wines and cocktails with local spirits and heavy appetizers curated by Chef Kate Roman of Black Radish Kitchen in Pittsburgh. Guests will enjoy live music, presented by MCG Jazz in Pittsburgh, while they take self-guided tours of the house.
“We try to create a regional and local event through food and music,” Gunter said. “Chef Kate Romani has brought together characters from the Pittsburgh dining scene to create an evening menu and a truly amazing food concept. The idea of sourcing locally and sustainably is driving the dining experience.”
Dining partners include Fet Fisk, AmBoy Urban Collective, Bar Marco, 412 Food Rescue, Soju, Churchview Farm, Driftwood Oven and Confections by Casey Renee. Lo Bar Cocktail Services and Dreadnought Wines serve drinks.
Appetizers will be passed out at the visitor center when guests arrive, with more appetizers and food stations available outside.
The roster of artists, compiled by MCG Jazz executive producer Marty Ashby, includes well-known players in the region, such as Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, Alton Merrill, Mike Tomaro, Jeff Bush, Paul Costintino, Frank Conemondo, Bob Ensco and Eric. Sossoff and Rob Kurto.
“Music is integrated into the home experience. Instead of sitting and listening to a performance, as people make their way through the house, they will encounter different focal points of music along with the architecture experience,” said Gunther.
“We will have some musicians performing in the living room, on the master bedroom balcony, on the balcony of Edgar Kaufman Sr., by the pool in the guest house,” he said. “As people pass by, they will be able to stop and hear different sounds at these different points.”
Building Fallingwater, an exhibit chronicling the construction of the main house, will open at the visitor center.
“It has a lot of archival photos and even home movies of the actual construction of the house. You can see the genesis of the whole architecture,” Gunter said. “It’s fun to add to the visit and expand the experience.”
Soiree was last held in 2019, as a rebranding of the long-running annual Twilight Tour.
Proceeds from the event support the ongoing preservation of Fallingwater, which opened for public tours in 1964, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and voted as the most important building of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects. The longtime sponsor is Huntington Bank.
Tickets are $300 at Fallwater.org/soiree. Tickets for WPC and Friends of Fallingwater members cost $250 and are available by calling 724-329-8501.